March 12 2007, 8:12 AM
While there seems to be no end to the money the federal government is willing to spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's not the same for medical care for those at home. $120 million in medicaid cuts set to go into effect in September will have a devastating effect on both the Denver Health Medical Center and the University of Colorado Hospital. They may be forced to close.
Peg Burnett of Denver Health Medical Center said she doesn't see how it could stay open with what would be a 13 percent cut in funding. A federal spokesman said the new rule is not designed to deny Medicaid money to hospitals that serve the poor and uninsured, but Sean Kevelighan said hospitals might not be in the right category for such funding. Under the proposal, Denver Health and the University of Colorado Hospital wouldn't qualify as a public hospital. The proposal redefines a public or government hospital.More than 57 million Americans rely on Medicaid.
Under the proposal, Denver Health stands to lose $75 million, while University Hospital could lose $35 million.The state Joint Budget Committee will hold a hearing Monday on the effects of the cuts on Colorado hospitals.